Beth Alpert Nakhai | The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

Beth Alpert Nakhai

I am writing a book about women who work in Levantine archaeology.  As early as the 19th century, some women contributed to our understanding of this region.  Throughout the 20th century, as political and societal dynamics shifted, more women worked in this field.  Even today, however, there are many constraints that impede women’s success.  These include gender bias in directing archaeological excavations; gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination against women in field settings; limited opportunities for professional advancement in the academy and in archaeological societies; fewer instances of women being honored with commemorative volumes; and more.  Our professional world is beginning to change, but the pace is slow and much still needs to be done.  One consequence of all this discrimination is that reconstructions of the past, based on the Hebrew Bible and on archaeology, have been inaccurate, because they have downplayed the important roles women that played in biblical Israel.